J. Scott Coatsworth has a new queer sci fi/fantasy anthology out: Spells & Stardust. This is Scott’s first anthology – eight sci fi and fantasy shorts that run the gamut from regeneration to redemption:
The Bear at the Bar: A gay fish out of water tale with a pinch of magic.
Tight: What happens when your lover disappears in midair?
Morgan: The year when everything changed.
Re-Life: What if you were reborn in a strange new future?
A New Year: They met every eleven years. And each time, Hank’s life changed.
Repetition: What if you wanted to go back in the closet?
Gargoyle: Sometimes you get what you deserve. Sometimes it happens on All Hallows Eve.
Avalon: A few bright moments in the sun, stolen from outside time.
Most of these stories have been previously published in various anthologies and journals. This is the first time they have all been collected in one place.
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From “A New Year”
The edge of the old cement pediment crumbled away beneath Hank’s feet into the river far below, glistening in the light of the almost-full moon. The bridge railing was cold at his back—he could feel it all the way through his jacket and shirt to his skin. He could see his breath glowing in the night air.
The nearly-frozen water rushed by in the river below, flowing under the bridge behind him and on toward the ocean far away in a steady flow, silver in the moonlight and heavily laden with winter rain. As soon as he gathered his courage, Hank would let go of his grip on the railing and fall into those icy waters, to disappear forever from the world of men.
It was New Year’s Day, 1986, an hour after midnight, and it was the end of things for Hank.
Or it should have been.
It was also the night he first met Dale.
Scott lives with his husband of twenty-five years in a Sacramento suburb, in a cute little yellow house with a brick fireplace and two pink flamingoes out front.
He inhabits in the space between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into science fiction and fantasy by his mom at the tender age of nine, he quickly finished her entire library. But he soon began to wonder where all the queer people were.
After coming out at twenty-three, he started writing the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Crown Books. If there weren’t many queer characters in his favorite genres, he would will them into existence, subverting them to his own ends. And if he was lucky enough, someone else would want to read them.
His friends say Scott’s mind works a little differently than most – he makes connections between ideas that others don’t, and somehow does more in a day than most people manage in a week. Although born an introvert, he forced himself to reach outside himself and learned to connect with others like him.
Scott’s stories subvert expectations that transform traditional science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something different and unexpected. He runs both Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark.
His romance and genre fiction writing brings a queer energy to his stories, filling them with love, beauty and power. He imagines how the world could be – in the process, he hopes to change the world, just a little.
Scott was recognized as one of the top new gay authors in the 2017 Rainbow Awards, and his debut novel “Skythane” received two awards and an honorable mention.
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